Þorgerður Brák was Egil's nursemaid, thought to be a Celtic slave. In one of the more dramatic moments in Egil's Saga, she heroically saves Egil's life (from an attempted crime of passion, by his own father, Skallagrímur Kveldúlfsson), and jumps into the sea to escape the enraged Skallagrímur. Today a sculpture marks a spot near where she leapt, ultimately to her death: Skallagrímur hit her with a stone, and she never emerged from the water again.

The strait she swam, between Borgarnes and the islet offshore, is named Brákarsund for her. The town celebrates an annual festival in her honour.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Borgarbyggð attractions

1. Settlement Centre

0.03 MILES

Housed in an imaginatively restored warehouse by the harbour, the must-see Settlement Centre offers fascinating insights into the history of Icelandic…

2. Borgarfjördur Museum

0.15 MILES

This small municipal museum has an engaging exhibit on the story of children in Iceland over the last 100 years. It's told through myriad photographs and…

3. Borgarneskirkja

0.19 MILES

Borgarnes' quaint church stands watch on a hill in the centre of town.

4. Skallagrímsgarður

0.29 MILES

The Settlement Museum has marked sites featured in Egil’s Saga with cairns, including Skallagrímsgarður, the burial mound of the father and son of saga…

6. Borg á Mýrum

1.81 MILES

The Borg á Mýrum farm, just northwest of Borgarnes on Rte 54, is the site where Skallagrímur Kveldúlfsson, Egil's father, made his farm at settlement. The…

7. Saurbæjarkirkja

12.65 MILES

The church at the Saurbær farmstead is worth a look for its beautiful stained-glass work by Gerður Helgadóttir. It is named for Reverend Hallgrímur…

8. War & Peace Museum

12.74 MILES

During WWII Hvalfjörður contained a submarine and warship station and over 20,000 American and British soldiers passed through. This museum houses…